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Howard Lederer Back Playing High-Stakes Poker

Logs Session Of $400-$800 At Aria In Las Vegas Tuesday Night

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Former Full Tilt Poker owner Howard Lederer is back playing some of the highest stakes in the poker world. On Tuesday night, he was playing $400-$800 mixed games at Aria in Las Vegas.

The United States Department of Justice is looking to take more than $40 million from the 48-year-old in a pending civil complaint. Prosecutors allege that Lederer helped orchestrate a fraud worth hundreds of millions of dollars, leaving U.S. players empty handed.

American victims of Full Tilt are still waiting for the government to provide more information on how they can seek some compensation. Overseas players are to be bailed out by PokerStars, the company that acquired defunct Full Tilt as part of a settlement.

Three separate Aria employees said that death threats against Lederer had been received via phone since he returned to the felt at Bellagio Monday night and played again on Tuesday.

Like Bellagio, Aria had security personnel in front of the private high-stakes room where Lederer was playing. He sat with some familiar faces.

On Tuesday, Lederer played with Nick Schulman, David Oppenheim, Huck Seed and Chau Giang, all who represented Full Tilt at one point. Doyle Brunson rounded out the lineup. The atmosphere at the table looked friendly and was full of chatter.

Seed told Card Player during a bathroom break that Lederer was in “good spirits” and playing great poker. He said that Lederer “has played as good as anyone I’ve ever seen” while learning some of the new games in the rotation. Lederer had been away from the poker scene for more than a year. Seed added that he’s happy to see Lederer back at the tables.

At Bellagio, Lederer received a hug from a dealer who hadn’t seen him in awhile.

Some haven’t been pleased to see the man who, if what the DOJ alleges is accurate, would be one of the biggest crooks in poker’s long history.

“It makes you a little angry that he’s showing his face while knowing that people still haven’t been paid,” Siva Dhamotharan, a professional poker player living in Las Vegas, told Card Player while he was waiting for a cash game to start at Aria.

Dhamotharan, 26, added that Lederer was playing Tuesday with “wrongfully-earned money.”

The $5-$10 no-limit hold’em grinder said he has $50,000 still stuck on Full Tilt.

“It affects me a lot of the time,” Dhamotharan said. “That’s where I had most of my money.”

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus

 
 
 
 

Comments

thereyougoagain
almost 2 years ago

hmmm...interesting, leads me to believe players must be close to recieving their funds...is howard that arrogant to return to playing if player funds were still in limbo with refunds nowhere in sight? i hope not...call him what you want, hes not stupid, id bet news ready to break about where and how to file a claim to recieve your money...either im right or howard is a bigger douchebag than i ever imagined

 
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bparmalee
almost 2 years ago

Seems like the perfect crime..... Lederer steals money from players..... DOJ takes bribe from Pokerstars to return money to players and it doesn't look like Lederer or Ferguson are going to suffer any real consequences. People may say they hurt their "reputation". To that I would say what's the best reputation a poker player can have? Always takes your money.... and that's just what they did. Now they get to beat people at the poker table with their own money.... well played.

 
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John14
almost 2 years ago

To my knowledge, no player was denied any payout until the government seized the bank accounts. Until found guilty and/or liable (depending on whether the charges are criminal or civil), we should give him the presumption of innocence. However, I won't be asking for his autograph.

 
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WPS22
almost 2 years ago

I don't think we have to presume he's innocent. I think you have to have a pretty good imiganition to think he's totally innocent.

However, that doesn't mean people should try to physically assault him either. Or that he should be banned from all casinos, both ideas floated in these comments.

The DOJ wants $40M from him. I highly doubt he has anywhere near $40M. He has no real earning power. He's not sitting pretty in some great spot right now. Long after we all get our FTP money, his life will still suck.

 
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IAmYourBigFish
almost 2 years ago

no investors were denied money by Bernie Madoff till the very end when his ponzi scheme can no longer keep up.

If the charges were true, it will be a similar situation.

 
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settler
almost 2 years ago

Lame post. That prick screwed to many people.
I not scared if I see him I will go right up to him and make him pay me on the SPOT.

 
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blegend
almost 2 years ago

Why wasn't there a line of people wrapped around the high stakes room waiting to kick the crap out of Lederer?

 
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WPS22
almost 2 years ago

Because assaulting would not get you your money back any faster and it would land you in jail.

 
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WPS22
almost 2 years ago

assaulting him*

 
 

bmpek
almost 2 years ago

why has MGM management not blasklisted howard and his cronies. the same for the gaming commission. they have banned people for much less and do not have to have provable evidence to ban people who are cheats and scammers

 
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NewfieBullet
almost 2 years ago

Good point bmpek....SUSPECTED pedophiles are still banned from playgrounds

 
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WPS22
almost 2 years ago

They ban people for offenses that are in no way related to their properties? When has that ever happened? MGM isn't the Epic Poker league.

 
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greeze14
almost 2 years ago

Isnt he in this club called the corp.He's gonna get backed no matter what.Even if they go after his assets hell be fine.

 
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greeze14
almost 2 years ago

He's Just gotta watch his back when he Goes home Lol

 
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THEJOEF
almost 2 years ago

Stop crying ! You all knew that you were dealing with cut throat hustlers. You all knew that sooner or later the DOJ would come down on ONLINE POKER. You all knew as did he but he is smarter then all of you. Thats why i dont think he is at all responsible for what happen.Do i think he has 100 million stashed somewhere,yes I do.
I also believe that he did everything in his power to save his cash cow.I have more respect for him then i could ever have for IVEY and the rest of them . They all ran for the hills when the shit hit fan.
If they would of all stuck together maybe this would have gotten fixed a long time ago. Hustlers,con artist,poker players its all the same filth. Stop pretending its some clean business transaction. Poker is dirty business always was and always will be.
Thats why you love it.

 
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x19
almost 2 years ago

hmmmmm.....and for the longest time i thought Hellmuth was the king of those without shame.....now i have to rethink that.

 
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clunker
almost 2 years ago

John14 Blair Hinkle won the FTOPS for 1.1 million and was denied his winnings on numerous occasions. They had a limit of how much you could withdraw each week $2500 I believe which is absurd if you win a million $ tourney. Wonder how that would work at the WSOP. You win the ME and can only get $2500 a week out. And what does the government have to do with FTP not having any money. They had liabilities of about 350 million and had 6 million to cover those liabilities. WHERE DID THE MONEY GO? Not to the government as you seem to think. Howard is playing in 400-800 mixed game. Ivey is playing for millions in casinos around the world.The rest of the FTP crew are playing in that 400-800 game with howard or laying low.

 
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bigtime1957
almost 2 years ago

If any poker player in the US plays with him, they are condoning what he has done, I say to all poker players, Card Player and Bluff, and everyone else let it be know if he plays in your casino we will BOYCOTT and never step foot into your poker room again, It is time we poker players take a stand, It is our time to show we are the power not the casino's It is time this guy is barred from every casino in the US, I expect Card player to stand up and take to the for front of this, If your here for us poker players, Then stand up for our rights, and not some thief.

 
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RaiseMyNuttZ
almost 2 years ago

Yea go for it bigtime, do it. out of 1000 players it will be bigtime lmfao and notime. 2 out of 1000 sitting out. -EV LOSING MONEY HONEY BEAR. #baller oopppsss it's not twitter.

 
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greeze14
almost 2 years ago

Isn't Poker Stars Going To Pay U all Back. Quit Wineing Put your self In Lederers shoes He Was part of a buisness That made millions then one day theres nothing.When They started it it was legal then they said its not.Its sad because once someone starts making money in something the government wants it so they make a new law and u cant do that now.I agree Full Tilt Sould have paid players And Ur all lucky Ur gonna get it back.Dont Worry DOJ Is Figuring It All Out If Lederer Did any wrong doing they will NAIL Him to the cross.

 
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IAmYourBigFish
almost 2 years ago

I guess you do not know he is accused of a PONZI scheme. Taking player's money and pocketing in a magnitude a lot higher than it was raked. The same thing bernie madoff did. If it were true, it is a horrible crime.

 
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clunker
almost 2 years ago

internet poker was never legal. I guess no morals no integrity is okay with you.

 
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TandG21
almost 2 years ago

Everyone has the right to be upset with FTP owners $ operators for not getting their winnings. But come on people we all knew that online poker was not legal. But we continued playing.
I don't believe Lederer should be ban from playing untill he is convicted of a crime.So just think when you were watching them play on Poker after dark going all in and calling. Must be nice to play when it is not your own money.

 
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IAmYourBigFish
almost 2 years ago

Points:

1. Internet poker was/is NOT ILLEGAL. DOJ had issued opinion few months after Black Friday that poker is not covered by that law in question.

2. Some judges including recent NYC federal judge had ruled poker is a game of skill, not luck. Hence not considered gambling.

3. Lederer is being cited for part of a Ponzi Scheme. A scheme to defraud poker players or subsequent owner of FTP. While the truth remains to be seen in court. It is very likely these charges are not drummed up out of nothing. For him to show his face in lieu of these charges and before USA players are being repaid is stupid at best. He is only going to fuel anger and perhaps even violence. He should take his gains, ill gained or not and hide somewhere. Do everyone a favor, no one need/want to see his face in public.

 
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Dergoose
over 1 year ago

I'm waiting for my money back, first off. However, think of a bank. It only has 8% of the actual deposits on hand. If FTP were a financial institution it'd have been overcapitalized.

You could argue that banks are Ponzi schemes, except they are sustainable, because they cover their expenses with their revenues & always have enough cash on hand for withdrawals. So, if FTP was raking in enough to be sustainable, and they always met withdrawal requests, and the gov't didn't freeze their assets, no one would have gotten stuck. I'm just saying.

I think it was misrepresented to us players, and as such, was criminal, but I'm just giving you what I think their rational was. I'm not a mind reader but, if you except poker players are hustlers, you could expect this rationale to make sense to them.

Ever since the Federal Reserve was created, it's been a good concept for bankers. Hell they run the world. When they belly up, they get a pass. FTP should have used some of the 'dividends' to grease, I mean lobby, politicians so that poker sites could operate with flexible reserve requirements.

I'm not mad at you bro. I talked myself out of it. Now just want my $2k back from Uncle Sam.

 
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